Speedy (1928)

“Gee, Babe — you’ve done more for baseball than cheese has for Switzerland!”

Synopsis:
A young man known as “Speedy” (Harold Lloyd) loses one job after the other, but keeps his spirits up by going to Coney Island with his girlfriend, Jane (Ann Christy). Meanwhile, he helps Jane’s grandfather, “Pop” (Bert Woodruff), save his horse-drawn trolley — the last one in New York — from being bought by nefarious railroad business tycoons.

Genres:

Review:
Harold Lloyd’s final silent film features many amusing segments and sight gags, a fascinating peek at 1920s New York (including an extended cameo by Babe Ruth), and an overall air of infectious gaiety. Unfortunately, however, the movie doesn’t hold together very well as a cohesive narrative, and the final chase scene — while certainly well-executed — devolves into an uninteresting slapstick brouhaha. For those seeking their first exposure to Harold Lloyd’s immense talents, check out Safety Last! (1923) or The Freshman (1925) instead.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • A fascinating “time capsule” glimpse of 1920s New York (especially Coney Island)
  • The fun subway sequence
  • Speedy using donuts and pretzels to signal baseball scores to his workmates

Must See?
No, though it’s certainly a “must see” for fans of Harold Lloyd and/or silent comedies.

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One Response to “Speedy (1928)”

  1. Not a must – pretty much in complete agreement with the review.

    ‘Speedy’ may not contain all that much by way of memorable inventiveness, but the time passes easily enough.

    FFs should, of course, be familiar with Lloyd – but probably not everything he did.

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